This might be the biggest evidence that Lonzo Ball is finally getting out from under his father LaVar Ball and being his own man after the Los Angeles Lakers point guard took to Instagram and decided to make a statement that seemed to suggest he was moving on from Big Baller Brand.
Over the weekend, it was reported that Lonzo Ball had parted ways with long-time family friend and Big Baller Brand co-founder Alan Foster after he found out $1.5 million was missing from his accounts.
One of the almost 1 million people that liked that post was his teammate LeBron James.
That post’s use of the Nike branding line of “it’s only a crazy dream until you do it” led to rampant speculation that Ball would be headed to the footwear and apparel giant.
Bron told Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times that he respects how Ball is handling his business amidst difficult circumstances:
“I love the fact that he’s taking control of his [stuff],” James said. “I mean, he’s, that’s what’s really, really dope to me. Once I saw that story I just seen a kid turning into a man. ‘This is my career and I’m taking this. I done had enough with — whatever. I done had enough. Whatever. If I’m not going to be successful, I’m not going to be successful on my terms.’ I saw a lot of that. We’ll see.”
He added with a smile: “I mean he plays well when he has on Nikes.”
James has been with Nike his entire career and he stated he could relate to the struggle of a young player agonizing over how to best manage their future:
“I just didn’t feel like I would be able to get to a point both on the floor or off the floor where I wanted to be,” James said. “That’s why I ended up departing from my agent at the time and start my own thing. It’s just tough when you’re 18, 19 years old you don’t know about that side. All you want to do is play basketball show up to the gym and work and work and work.”
In Ball he sees someone who just wants to get healthy so he can return to playing basketball. Ball has been out since Jan. 19 with a severely sprained left ankle, and James can see his frustration. The events of the last week, James believes, will help him start a new chapter.
Said James: “I’m more proud of him because I like the fact that he’s taking command of his [stuff].”
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